Trade unions force Sri Lanka to scrap newer consumer inflation index

December 13, (LBO) – A newer price index covering a larger geographical area, which represented a broader socio-economic category is being scrapped because trade unions opposed it’s use to link wages, Sri Lanka’s statistics office said. This year the CCPI was spiking higher than the SLCPI with October 12-month point-to-point registering 17.2 percent in the CCPI while the SLCPI showed an increase of 12.6 percent. “We put a lot of effort into developing the index, and we are sad to see all that going waste,” Director General of Census and Statistics, Suranjana Vidyaratne said.

“Trade unions did not find it acceptable to use to index wages, so we would discontinue it.”

The Census Department says it is hard pressed to generate multiple indices as it had to redeploy resources elsewhere, such as towards a much needed survey on computer literacy and information technology.

The Greater Colombo Consumer Price Index (GCPI) was constructed to eventually replace the country’s most widely used inflation index, the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI), which measures the expenditure pattern of a manual worker in Colombo city, which means only the bottom quintile of spenders in a limited area are captured.

The GCPI has a 1989 base an